A meeting with the bench boss’ former team, a game ripe with opportunity and teaching points, slipped through for the 67’s on Sunday and a rough weekend has them at serious risk of missing the postseason.
As long-suffering as the Sudbury Wolves franchise is, the 2016-17 edition gave themselves a little bit more distance from the team they upset in a 2011 sweep by way of a 7-5 shootout in Ottawa.
“Certainly in Sudbury, I had some experiences like that, we weren't a very good team,” said Jeff Brown, who played for the Wolves decades ago.
“That's a long time ago, I'm old, they don't even wear our old green and gold,” Brown took time to joke, even after a rough 10-5 loss to Owen Sound and his old squad coming to down a day later.
“I get it, you're trying. I don't want to say that these guys aren't trying. Maybe we just have to try different or try harder. I'm not going to question whether or not we tried.”
If not for an imploding last-place Barrie team, Ottawa would be the worst goals against team in the OHL, and it’s quickly put them on the ropes in the East’s playoff race.
The biggest problem for Ottawa is that they get a gauntlet of Oshawa, Hamilton and London in their next three games, while North Bay takes on an easier trio in Niagara, Sudbury and bottom-feeding Barrie. By week’s end, the 67’s could easily be out of a playoff spot.
Ottawa sits with the last playoff spot in the East as the two teams sandwiching them in the Battalion and IceDogs hit the ice on Thursday night.
As tough as it’s been for Brown and co. to watch high-scoring shootouts of late, anything but an overtime-induced three-pointer will be more than welcome for the 67’s tonight.